Alt-right leaders Richard Spencer and Nathan Damigo held a press conference in Alexandria yesterday morning. The two white supremacists helped facilitate the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally-turned-disaster.
Reporters expected the two to comment primarily on the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was run over while protesting the Unite the Right event. The driver, James Alex Fields, has been charged with second degree murder, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions deemed the attack an act of terrorism.
However, Spencer, who did most of the talking during this hour-long press conference, refused to assert Fields’ guilt. He told reporters, “I am not going to condemn this young man at this point,” arguing that the crash may have been accidental. Fields, a fellow white supremacist, drove his vehicle into a crowd of pedestrian protesters, injuring 12 people and killing Heather Heyer.
Spencer did have two guilty suspects in mind, however. “Mayor Mike Signer and Governor Terry McAuliffe have blood on their hands. They are absolutely responsible for the disgusting chaos that ensued in Charlottesville, Virginia.” He also blamed Charlottesville police for allowing the rally to escalate into violence, and accused the media of creating a false, racially-driven narrative of the event. Spencer stated: “We need to get beyond a vague happy talk about how racism caused this and look at who was truly responsible for policing the city of Charlottesville.”
He also refuted that white nationalists are to blame for Heyer’s death with the following rationale: “The alt-right is non-violent. Everyone knows this.”
Perhaps not everyone — one reporter pointed out a correlation between the burning torches carried by the Charlottesville alt-right marchers and those famously used by the Ku Klux Klan. Spencer contended that the correlation had never occurred to him, and called the demonstration “absolutely beautiful and magical and mystical.”
Richard Spencer also expressed his disapproval of President Trump’s late response to the violent happenings. He said: “We were connected with Donald Trump on a kind of psychic level. Trump is the first true authentic nationalist in my lifetime.” However recent events has caused Spencer’s support for the President to waver. “I just don’t take him seriously.”
Spencer made it clear that the horror in Charlottesville is merely a bump in the road for alt-right voices. “There’s no way in hell I’m not going back to Charlottesville.”
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